Irish pork export volumes decline overall, but increase to China
Total Irish exports of pig meat (exc offal) for the first 9 months of 2019, were down 5% on the previous year, this was predominantly due to reductions in Irish exports to the EU.
Despite this, the continued prevalence of ASF in regions of China has helped to boost Irish exports significantly. Irish exports to China for the first 9 months of 2019 have increased year-on-year by 44% to reach 45,000 tonnes, according to Central Statistics Office Ireland data. China’s market share of the Irish pig meat (exc offal) export market has grown from 16% to 25% on the first three quarters of the year.
Irish exports during Q3 to the EU-28 were down 11% on the previous year to finish at 36,000 tonnes. Despite this decrease, the EU-28, particularly the UK, still currently accounts for 56% of total Irish pig meat (exc offal) exports, with a market value of £369 million ($420 million) for the year to date.
Pig prices in Ireland, have generally followed the trend of UK pig prices for most of the year. However, in recent weeks the Irish pig price dropped below the UK reference price to stand at 154 p/kg for the week ending 3 November.
Based on the first 9 months of 2019, Irish pork production has remained relatively stable year-on-year, with a slight decline 670 tonnes over the period. Total slaughter number fallen slightly too, with an increase in average carcase weights to 88kg.